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Storyotypes

March 25, 2011
“… the story perspective can be seen to provide a potentially optimistic direction for lifelong learning and positive aging.  However, we should not minimize the constraints to what is possible in biographical aging.  In the western world,  it is still the case that we live in a culture that both explicitly and implicitly discriminates against older persons.  Practices such as mandatory retirement, whether formal or simply the result of the “empty desk syndrome,” inappropriate institutionalization, and paternalistic social policy – the “we know what is best for you” syndrome – all these result in a situation in which an older person’s inside story is severely challenged by their outside story – a sad story for many.

Under these conditions it is not difficult to understand why many older people simply resign themselves to an outer image of aging, and existing storyotypes, or even continue to work with plots from the past, whether or not they really work today.  This makes sense since they cannot maintain an open relationship between the person they are inside, their inside story, and the social and structural dimensions of their story, the outside story.”

P26 –my emphasis – Restorying our lives; personal growth through autobiographical reflection. Gary Kenyon and William Randall (Westpor, Connecticut and London, Praeger,1997) [ISBN 0275956636]

 

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